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Permits

Upper Selawik reflection
  • Activities Allowed Without a Permit

    The Selawik National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public year-round. The general public does not need any special permits to visit or use the refuge for personal activities such as hunting, fishing, berry picking, snowmachining, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, or photography. However, people using the refuge must follow refuge regulations, state and federal laws, and state and federal hunting regulations that apply to them, including having a hunting or fishing license when applicable.  See our rules and regulations page for more information.

  • Activities Requiring a Permit

    Special Use Permits are required for all commercial operations, scientific research, and collection activities on refuge lands and waters. Examples of activities that require a permit are listed below, along with information on how to apply for one. Any person or group participating in an activity that requires a permit is responsible for obtaining and renewing their permit(s).

    There are three types of applications for special use permits.  The application you need to use depends on the activity or type of business you are running. Please see the examples below for guidance on which application to use.


    Non-hunting recreational guides and outfitters for activities such as fishing, birding, kayaking or wildlife viewing require a special use permit to operate on refuge lands and waters. The number of these permits is not limited at this time. Permit applications for non-hunting recreational guiding and outfitting on Selawik Refuge are only accepted during certain times of year (see How to Apply below).

    The application needed to apply for these activities is the NWRS Commercial Activities Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-C; exp. date 6/30/14).


    Air taxis and boat charters require a special use permit to transport clients or goods onto refuge lands or waters. The number of these permits is not limited at this time. Permit applications for air taxis and boat charters on Selawik Refuge are only accepted during certain times of year (see How to Apply below). Businesses transporting hunters must also have a state Big Game Transporter License.

    The application needed to apply for these activities is the NWRS Commercial Activities Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-C; exp. date 6/30/14).


    Commercial filming requires a special use permit.  See How to Apply below for more information.  The application needed to apply for this activity is the NWRS Commercial Activities Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-C; exp. date 6/30/14).


    All scientific research activities such as biological, seismic, archeological, and geological surveys and studies require a special use permit. See How to Apply below for more information.  The application needed to apply for this is the NWRS Research and Monitoring Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-R; exp. date 6/30/14).


    Big game hunting guides and outfitters have a different permit application process. The Selawik Refuge issues one big game guiding/outfitting permit for the refuge at any given time, awarded through a competitive selection process. The permit is valid for five years with an option for one five-year extension contingent on satisfactory performance. The existing permit was issued in 2008 and will likely not become available again until 2018. If you are interested in competing for this permit when it is reissued, please contact us for more information.  

  • How To Apply

    If you participate in an activity on the Selawik Refuge for which you need a special use permit, you must submit an application and operational plan to the refuge. There is a $100 administrative fee for issuance of the permit, and in some cases a daily client use fee (based on the type of activity in which you are engaged). The Refuge Manager reviews permit applications to ensure the activity is compatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established and to evaluate its effects on subsistence uses and needs. The manager can stipulate special permit conditions that must be followed.

    If your activity requires a special use permit, please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System’s permits page and fill out the appropriate form for the type of permit you need. These forms may be filled out electronically and then printed, or printed and filled out by hand. Completed applications may be mailed to us, delivered in person at our office, or submitted by fax or email. Please remember, Selawik Refuge has a separate process for issuing its big game guiding/outfitting permit. 


    The Selawik Refuge accepts permit applications for non-hunting recreational guiding and outfitting, air taxis*, and boat charters* during two periods each year: 

    January 1 – March 15
    October 1 – November 30  


    Applications must be postmarked by these dates. You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete and all fees are paid by the closing date. Complete applications received during these time periods will be processed within 30 days of the closing date of the application period. Incomplete applications will be returned after the closing date. Applications received outside of these periods will be processed during the next open period.

    *Please note: On the newest Commercial Activities Permit application form, air taxis, boat charters and transporters should check “other” on item 13 and write in their activity type. 


    The Selawik Refuge accepts permit applications for scientific research, collection, commercial filming and other miscellaneous uses at any time during the year. Permit applications need to be submitted at least 30 days before the requested activity is to begin. 


    Administrative fees for all special use permits must be paid by a check or money order payable to “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”  Payments should be sent with the application to the address below, or mailed separately if your application is submitted via fax or email. 

     

    Mailed applications and payments should be sent to: 
    Selawik National Wildlife Refuge 
    Attn: Deputy Refuge Manager 
    P. O. Box 270 
    Kotzebue, AK 99752

     

    You may also fax us your application at (907) 442-3124 or email it to tina_moran@fws.gov.

    For more information, please contact the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge by phone at (907) 442-3799 or toll-free at (800) 492-8848, fax at (907) 442-3124, or email tina_moran@fws.gov.  

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2012
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